New Carbon Capture Tech Makes Your Favorite Craft Breweries More EcoFriendly

first_imgStay on target Fiber-Based Six-Pack Can Rings Offer Eco-Friendly Alternative to PlasticEven More Kellogg’s Cereal Gets Re-Born as Craft Beer When someone comes up with a way to turn something bad into something good, that’s a reason to get excited. Especially when the good thing is beer, and the bad thing is excess carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.As many of you probably know, carbon dioxide is naturally produced during the brewing process. During fermentation, sugars are converted into alcohol and CO2. At larger breweries, it’s become common to install recovery equipment. Coors, for example, captures around 300 million pounds of CO2 every year.For smaller craft brewing operations, however, that equipment can be prohibitively expensive. Enter the scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. A couple of years ago, they came up with new technology that will help craft brewers reclaim CO2 at a much more reasonable cost — as much as 75% less.The Lab’s solution: tiny capsules with a permeable outer shell that contains a sodium carbonate solution. The solution reacts with carbon dioxide and traps it inside. Later, the stored CO2 can be released simply by adding a little heat.Roger Aines, one of the LLNL researchers, said: “We think the microcapsule technology provides a new way to make carbon capture efficient with fewer environmental issues.” He added that “a huge improvement regarding environmental impacts because we can use simple baking soda — present in every kitchen — as the active chemical.”Earlier this year, the Lab talked about the system in a YouTube video:Reducing environmental impact isn’t the only reason a craft brewery might want to adopt LLNL’s microcapsule capture system. Breweries produce much more carbon dioxide than they need to create the right level of fizziness. That excess can be packaged and sold. Turning waste into a revenue stream? That’s a definite bonus.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

Agents of Mayhem is One Summer Game You Dont Want to Miss

first_img Agents of Mayhem is Fun, But Saints Row Has Always Been AnnoyingThese Are the Games You Should Be Checking Out in August Stay on target I don’t know how many times we’ve written about how amazing 2017 has been for video games. You know things are good when even the dreaded summer drought was all but eliminated. A lot of fantastic titles have dropped, and the year isn’t over yet. Because of that, it is easy to overlook games that deserve your attention. One such game is Volition’s Agents of Mayhem.For those who may not know, Agents of Mayhem is a spiritual successor to the Saints Row franchise. Though both titles are their own separate entity, they share many similarities. Chief among them is the open-world design. Like any good open-world title, there is a lot to see and do. This makes it a great title to occupy your time during the hot summer days. Like the Saints Row series, Agents of Mayhem isn’t flawless, but it’s perfect for those who just want a brainless, goofy game to hold them over until the big fall games start releasing.The Saints Row franchise went from being an unapologetic Grand Theft Auto clone to an over-the-top superhero game. Agents is decidedly on the latter end of that spectrum. The premise here is that an evil organization called Legion is trying to take over the planet. Thankfully, the Agents of M.A.Y.H.E.M. organization exists to stop Legion’s nefarious plans. This game is basically an old-school Saturday morning cartoon only with a ton of dick and fart jokes. If you’re into G.I. Joe, cheesy 80’s nostalgia, and borderline offensive humor, then you’ll be right at home.I’ve played a ton of open-world games in the past but not one quite like this. Since it is set in a near-future South Korea, Agents distinguishes itself from similar games based in the West. Even though it takes place in Seoul, the city is surprisingly multi-cultural given its abundance of different peoples. It’s a great video game city to explore since it shows such a positive (if silly) vision of the future. It’s certainly nothing like the (boring) post apocalyptic worlds seen in other games. If you’re like me, you’ll no doubt spend countless hours driving (or jumping) around the city to take in all the amazing sights.Saints Row games had a lot of characters, but you could only ever really play as the main protagonist. In Agents of Mayhem, you’ll eventually gain access to 14 playable heroes. The crazy part is that the three initial characters aren’t even the game’s best. As you progress, you’ll unlock much cooler heroes like the Assassin Scheherazade, former Yakuza Oni, and the Gatling gun wielding Daisy. Each hero becomes playable only after doing specific story-based missions. Because you learn about each character through these missions, you’ll form an emotional bond with them. The game’s diverse range of characters is easily Agents of Mayhem’s strongest feature.Many of Agents’ missions play out the same. Go to a mission waypoint, find out where the actual mission area is, drive to it, hack a terminal, kill waves of bad guys, and win. This otherwise repetitive pattern is only bearable due to the fact every character plays completely different from one another. Since each character has their own play style, missions never become dull. I always enjoyed mixing up the team to see how they all worked with each other. While you certainly want to have a hacker with you, you’re free to mix and match as you please. Being able to form a team of unique characters and blasting away bad guys never gets old.Back when I wrote my hands-on impressions of the E3 demo, I remarked on how Agents of Mayhem would give Crackdown 3 a run for its money. After all, both open-world titles star heroes with ridiculous powers. Now that Crackdown 3 has been delayed, Agents is the only choice left for people looking for a zany super hero open-world game this year. Xbox owners still upset over Crackdown 3’s delay can help alleviate their suffering by taking a crack (pun intended) at Agents of Mayhem.The next wave of big 2017 games starts next week when Destiny 2 launches. Since that’s the case, you might want to consider checking out Agents of Mayhem before that takes over everything. With its open-world structure, quantity of side missions, and large roster of diverse playable characters, you’ll be entertained for many, many hours. There’s also the fact the game is just plain fun, which is something that’s always appreciated (especially these days). Don’t sleep on Agents of Mayhem!Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

Neural Network Serves Up Truly Frightening Halloween Costume Ideas

first_img MIT’s AI Knitting System Designs, Creates Woven GarmentsResearchers Train AI To Feel Emotion, Too Stay on target Life is stressful enough, without having to come up with an original Halloween costume.This year, leave your anxieties behind and wow everyone with a truly unique ensemble—generated by an AI.“I wanted to find out if a neural network could help invent Halloween costumes,” machine learning artist Janelle Shane wrote in a blog post.Using a crowdsourced list, Shane trained her algorithm on everything from the classics—witch, ghost, pirate, superhero, vampire, sexy nurse (among 300 other provocative costumes, including sexy poop emoji, sexy Cookie Monster, and sexy anglerfish)—to more technically challenging ideas, like whale-frog, Lake Michigan, and toaster oven.“All this is to say that humans are very creative, and this task was going to be tricky for a neural network,” Shane said. “The sensible approach would be to try to use a neural network that actually knows what the words mean.”But Halloween isn’t about being sensible. It’s about appropriating ancient Celtic traditions and co-opting global cultures.“I wanted something a bit weirder,” Shane continued. “So, I used a neural network that learns words from scratch, letter by letter, with no knowledge of their meaning.“I simply dumped the 4,500 Halloween costumes on it, and told the neural network to figure it out.”You can bet no one else at the party will be dressed as Fairy Batman, Panda Clam, or Starfleet Shark (via Janelle Shane)Initially, it struggled, spitting out ideas like “sexy cot,” “sexy pot,” and incomprehensible options such as “the ran spean sexy sexy pon sexy dander” (you might have to DIY that one).To be fair, though, it did offer up “sexy cat,” which is a very real costume found in droves each year. That may have just been a fluke, though.With more time and better understanding, the AI began to make sense (though still came up with variants on “sexy nurse”). Eventually, the network found its niche: costume mashups.You can bet no one else in the neighborhood will be dressed as a punk tree, potato man (or woman), strawberry shark, or pirate firefighter. And if you’re looking for a novel take on a famous person or character, take Spartan Gandalf, fairy Batman, Snape scarecrow, vampire Big Bird, or Lady Garbage for a spin this weekend.Check out Shane’s blog for even more random costumes (Aldonald the goddess of the chicken, shower witch), a list of awesome new superheroes and villains (I want to be Super Pun), and a seemingly endless supply of “sexy” getups (sexy pumpkin pirate, sexy lamp, sexy barber).Plus, sign up for an extended collection of names, available via email.“Oh please go read them, because they are so good and it was so hard to decide which ones to fit into the main article,” Shane said.Need a last-minute costume idea? Check out our lineup of tech-themed outfits, and gain some inspiration from sister site PCMag’s list of 10 costumes to help you geek out.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

Stargate Origins Brings the Series Back to its Roots

first_img Stargate: Origins Gets a Swashbuckling Teaser and Release DateSDCC Announcement: Stargate Returns Stay on target It’s been years since we last saw any new Stargate. The long-running Stargate: SG-1 wrapped up its story ten years ago with the release of its two direct-to-DVD movies. I know it’s a weird thing to say about a show that had ten seasons and two movies, but it always felt like SG-1 ended too soon. The beautiful thing about the idea of a Stargate is that you can tell any story you want with it. There’s no limit to the places you can go, and as SG-1 went on, they kept taking the series to surprising new places. Even when the original cast started to leave, their replacements were interesting and the stories were cool enough to carry the show forward. And even then, it was able to support a spin-off series, Stargate: Atlantis which took the franchise in even more fantastical directions. Plus, it had Jason Momoa in it. Atlantis only lasted five seasons, but they were all very good seasons.  Stargate: Universe… also happened.Thankfully, the story of Stargate is no longer over. The first three episodes of Stargate: Origins have been released. The new series is on Stargate Command, a Stargate specific streaming service. Though the first three episodes of Origins are free, the rest will require you to upgrade to their paid tier. It’s not so bad. A one-time payment of $20 gets you every Stargate movie and TV series, so it’s actually a pretty decent deal. Three episodes in, and Origins feels so much like classic Stargate. As in, the original movie Stargate. With a little bit of Indiana Jones thrown in. It follows Catherine Langford as a young woman working with her father. They’ve found the Stargate and he’s been trying to figure out what it is. That’s when the Nazis show up. Like I said, this show is very Stargate by way of Indiana Jones.Using less scrupulous methods than the Langfords ever considered, the Nazi occultist Dr. Wilhelm Brücke has figured out exactly what the Stargate does. He kidnaps Catherine’s father and takes him through to another world. Meanwhile, Catherine recruits her soldier boyfriend and his buddy to join her as she goes after her father and the Nazis. Three episodes in, the show is a lot of fun. Catherine is such a cool protagonist, and I can’t wait to follow her adventure over the next seven episodes. She’s tough, impulsive and smart. By the time you reach episode three, and she’s pushing her companions into an unknown world, she has completely won you over.Ellie Gall plays Catherine, and she took some time to speak with me about the new series and what she enjoyed about playing Catherine. When she first heard about the new series, she says she wasn’t super familiar with it as a series. She knew the original movie, but not much about the TV show. Before her audition, she says she did some research into what kind of TV series it was. After she got the part, she watched the movie, but didn’t want to go too far into the TV series.“It’s an origin story,” she said. “I shouldn’t know all that much about what a Stargate is and what it does, where it takes you and how it works.” She said she decided to not learn too much about Stargate before filming, so she could discover it organically as Catherine does on the show. The same goes for the other portrayals of Catherine Langford in previous Stargates. This is a character who’s been in the franchise before; only she’s appeared much later in life. Gall wanted to make sure her performance was her own. She didn’t want to know where Catherine’s story goes after this series is over. “It’s almost like I went to a fortune teller and asked her to tell me what my future would look like. Not always the best idea. I did a bit of research, and I found quotes other characters shared about Catherine… her values and who she was as a person.” Gall says most of her inspiration came from the script. In serving the words on the page, she started thinking about what Catherine’s life in Egypt was like, what her relationship with her father was and what she was into.(Via Stargate Command/MGM)Though Gall didn’t have all that much familiarity with Stargate, the character of Catherine drew her to the script. “Playing a female character that really just takes charge and doesn’t wait for anyone to give her permission, and isn’t hindered by what she should and shouldn’t do based on what her role is. Especially in 1939, and what was thought was typical of a woman at the time. That was really appealing to me. It was cool to lead two men into the unknown, and take on a challenge headfirst. I think she does things that most people probably just wouldn’t do.”That includes Gall. She says she was excited to play a role that let her do stunts and work in a genre she hadn’t really explored before. “It was really cool to get to be a part of something that already has a fanbase, and already has set rules around the world. That was really cool to see. Also, a little bit intimidating. Working on sci-fi, there’s a lot of elements that come into play regarding what’s going on around you. It’s fun to discover a new world, and be playful. It’s not just a drama about a relationship. It’s not a story that’s grounded in reality. It’s fun to get to play in a world that isn’t like this one.”Working in a new genre gave Gall a ton of new experiences, but one stuck out in her mind as particularly cool. “It was pretty cool to get to shoot a gun. I’m Australian; we have very strict gun laws in Australia. I don’t think I’d even touched a gun… fight scenes also, I loved doing the fight scenes.” she said. She also loved the costumes she got to wear. The late-1930s clothes Catherine wears really helped Gall get into character, she says. “I loved my costumes. When I got to wear the vintage pieces, I really looked like I was from that time.” Gall especially loves her costume right at the end of the series. She couldn’t tell me too much about it or the circumstances in which she wears it. That would be a spoiler. She does say it was a vintage piece of clothing and really difficult to move around in. “I could really analyze more what it would be like as a woman in that time when you do wear clothes that were made like that. Those women did feel very held back and their clothes were a huge representation of what life would have been like.”Philip Alexander, Shvan Aladdin, Ellie Gall(Via Stargate Command/MGM)We can also look forward to plenty of practical effects, which I was happy to hear about. There obviously are CG effects added later, but from the sounds of things, not as many as there could be. “There’s a lot of combat in this world. Because the world we go into is not so different from our own, it doesn’t feel I guess maybe like the series feels, where you’re on a spaceship or a really foreign alien planet. It does feel very grounded in the world we’re in, but there are some slight differences that throw you off and make you a little bit uneasy. Things are a bit weird, and not the same. The Stargate is the biggest effect in the show that you’re gonna see.”Gall says Stargate: Origins feels much closer to the original Stargate film, but also has an old-Hollywood feel to it. “Origins takes on more of that ‘Indiana Jones’-like ‘let’s go get stuff done,’ and going headfirst into it and not thinking about it so much.”As far as whether or not this could lead to more Stargate, I mean I hope it does, but Gall can’t say for sure yet. If it does, she’s not sure there’s a place for Catherine after Origins. “I don’t know where Catherine could go after this story is finished. I’m not sure where she would live in this world anymore, because she comes back in series and there are a lot of things that happen to her through the show. I’m not sure she needs to come back, but there’s so much potential in Stargate to explore other characters’ origin stories.” Whether she’s able to come back for more Stargate, Gall says she’d definitely want to do more sci-fi. Just as long as she didn’t fall into the trap of doing the same role or telling the same story over and over. “There’s so much potential in sci-fi. It doesn’t have to be set in space or set in Egypt. It can be a concept more so than an actual happening situation.”Salome Azizi (Photo via Stargate Command/MGM)I asked if there’s a moment she couldn’t wait for people to see, and she couldn’t get too specific about that. All she could really say was “the end.” It sounds like something pretty amazing happens in episodes nine and 10. “There’s some juicy information that’s revealed there, and really intense emotional stuff that goes down. I want people to get there and see what happens and feel the feels.” She did give me one small hint though. Something that’s been in the trailers for the series. “I shot a gun.”  Alright. Well, we’ll have to see exactly what leads her to that moment.Stargate: Origins consists of 10 episodes, each about 10 minutes long. I know, when I heard there was more Stargate, I was hoping for an SG-1 sized epic. But do the math, and this basically ads up to a whole new Stargate movie. Gall says they shot the 100-minute series as if it were a movie too. And 30 minutes in, it’s a real good one. That’s already more than we ever thought we’d see from the series again. The first three episodes are available now on Stargate Command. New episodes will be released every week. And if 10 minutes of Stargate isn’t enough, you can always rewatch SG-1. That should be more than enough to fill in the gaps between Origins episodes.center_img Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

WarioWare DIY is the Original Mario Maker

first_img Review: ‘Fantasy Strike’ Is A Fighting Game That Understands…Game of the Year: Jordan Minor’s Best Video Games of 2018 For too long the definition of “Game of the Year” has been unfairly narrow. How boring is it to see every website shower the same stale AAA games with praise at the end of each holiday season? So at we’re doing what we can to put a stop to this in Game of the Year, a new column celebrating worthy alternative picks for the year’s greatest game regardless of genre, platform, year of release, or even quality. Here, any game can be Game of the Year!The recent WarioWare Gold is bunch of things. It’s the latest in the WarioWare series, a collection of 300 of the best microgames from the glorious deconstructed minigame celebrations starring Wario’s wonderfully wicked doppelganger. It’s also (hopefully) one of the last dedicated Nintendo 3DS games before Nintendo fully moves onto the Switch as its future for both handheld and console gaming. But best of all it’s just a great excuse to talk about WarioWare again.WarioWare Gold draws from past hits like the original WarioWare, WarioWare Twisted, and WarioWare Touched. But today’s Game of the Year is a WarioWare so weird and creative and experimental and beautiful it would be impossible to truly replicate it in a compilation. WarioWare: D.I.Y., the original Super Mario Maker, stands alone.WarioWare (or Made in Wario) is all about figuring things out as fast as possible, so here’s a quick recap. WarioWare is technically a minigame collection where the “microgames” must be completed in seconds with no context aside from single command like “Jump!” or “Shave!” In a strange way, it’s about testing your assumed gaming knowledge. Like of course the button makes me jump over this enemy or of course drawing on the touch screen will shave the beard. The most beloved games are even little abbreviated remakes of Nintendo classics millions of gamers just know innately.Released in 2010 on the original Nintendo DS, WarioWare: D.I.Y. moves this formula in a magnificent direction. Tired on relying on his usual cohorts (who unfortunately don’t include Waluigi) Wario just straight up tasks the player with designing dozens upon dozens of new microgames. And the game gives you the tools to do it! Wario was designed by Nintendo’s hip Intelligent Systems/R&D1 team as their underground answer to the safer mascot Mario. And with WarioWare: D.I.Y. they beat Mario to the punch for accessible game making tool.Like Super Mario Maker (or spiritual ancestor Mario Paint), WarioWare: D.I.Y. is naturally limited in some ways to making it game creation more accessible. It’s definitely not on the level of something like the upcoming Dreams on PlayStation 4. For starters, you can only make a game so complex when you have to beat it in seconds. You give your player one task and some pretty basic intuitive inputs to complete it. It’s very much “My First Game” but everyone has to start somewhere if we want gaming to be truly democratized.The harsh limitations can also lead to surprisingly lovely results from more experience designers who choose to put the time and work in. Bend the deceptively simple programming language to recreate everything from platformers to racing games to JRPG battles. Modify and reverse engineer existing games to further your education. The DS’s touch screen and microphone let you customize the audio and visual elements, recording sound effects and drawing sprites to animate. And even when the games turn out bizarre half-broken, it fits the satirical capitalist world of Wario just using these to make a quick buck. He’s like a grindhouse film producer who doesn’t care about the weirdo outsider art he’s funding.Not exactly #mariopaintthursdays but check out this Powered by The Cheat WarioWare! You can do it! You will do it…— Strong Bad (@StrongBadActual) March 1, 2018At the time, you could play hundreds of homemade WarioWare microgames on either your Nintendo DS or through a special WarioWare: D.I.Y. Showcase app on the Nintendo Wii. But with both of those platforms now dead and their online services shut down, we fear once again that important video game art is lost to history due to corporate negligence unless you can hunt down a remaining cartridge. But what really makes WarioWare: D.I.Y. so special, even compared to the rest of its illustrious franchise, is that it shows the real Game of the Year was in our hearts the whole time.For more on WarioWare check out our list of the best WarioWare Micro Games, and for more on Wario himself read our loving tribute to Mario’s evil twin.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on targetlast_img read more

This Wearable AI Translator Lets You Talk in Different Languages

first_img 2019 Tech Trends Worth Getting Hyped AboutYou Can Finally Buy A Terabyte SD Card Thanks to Lexar Wouldn’t it be great to speak in different languages? Well, now you can, thanks to TimeKettle Technologies’ WT2 Plus wearable AI translator.TimeKettle Technologies exhibited the WT2 Plus at CES 2019, and it’s a single-app earphone translator that helps you converse freely with others. WT2 Plus, which comes with interaction modes and over 20 embedded languages, is available for $199 on WT2 Plus’ website.<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>With the WT2 Plus, you can speak in multiple languages and receive translation help without looking at your smartphone. The WT2 Plus is designed to be worn by two people, so they can converse naturally without language barriers. The device easily fits in a person’s ear, and it helps quickly translate words for smoother speech.Here’s how the WT2 Plus works: First, select the language you would like to translate in the WT2 Plus app, and make sure Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are on for the WT2 Plus. Each earphone will then automatically pair with each other and the app. Next, split the charging cable in half and give one earpiece to the other person. Once you start speaking, an algorithm picks up on your voices with Auto Voice Detection, so your speech can be translated with minimal errors.Battery life is another important feature of the WT2 Plus. You can use the device for up to 15 hours, and when you need to juice it up again, simply put it back inside the charging case.To buy the WT2 Plus, visit the product’s website here.More on the Robot Is Here to Help Manage Your Smart HomeSony’s Beer-Holding Karaoke Speaker Is a Portable PartyWhirlpool Makes Your Kitchen A Lot Smarter At CES 2019 Stay on targetlast_img read more

205 Live Highlights Murphy vs Andrews Main Event Lio Rush in action

first_img Video: Watch the live WWE Clash of Champions Kickoff Show from Charlotte tonight Twitter Facebook Google+ WhatsApp Pinterestcenter_img Live Podcast: Reviewing and discussing WWE Clash of Champions from Charlotte Wrestleview Live #65: Reviewing and discussing WWE Clash of Champions from Charlotte Adam Martin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WWE posted highlights following last night’s 205 Live episode on the WWE Network.last_img

Paddle festival makes a big splash

first_imgHundreds took to the water, many in the head-over-heels or capsized-boat sense, at Vancouver Lake over the weekend as part of the 25th annual Spring Paddle Festival.Paul Kuthe, program manager at Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe, a local paddling sport retailer and school that organizes the event, said the festival is a way to kick off the season.“It’s kind of the start of things, so it’s appropriate it seems like the weather is turning the corner. … Finally,” he said Sunday.A big part of the festival has always been about introducing new people to paddle boating, whether on kayaks, canoes or stand-up paddleboards, said Chris Bensch, a coach with Alder Creek.“Our idea is to just get butts in boats,” he said.Guests sign in, usually, then learn about which boat type might be right for them, Bensch said. Then they’re quickly in the water and learning the basics.last_img read more

Bond sales move Ridgefield School District projects forward

first_imgThe Ridgefield School District has taken another step toward building its first new school in 40-plus years. On Wednesday, the district announced it had sold bonds to finance the $77,965,000 local share of the $98.5 million for the construction of various projects, including a new fifth-through-eighth-grade campus expected to open in time for the 2018-2019 school year. The district’s bond measure, which passed with 68.82 percent of the vote in February, will also fund an expansion at Ridgefield High School, allowing the district to construct a new building with rooms for science, special education, fine arts, general education and a library/media center. Bond money will also provide security upgrades to Union Ridge and South Ridge elementary schools. The city will pay for an outdoor sports complex next to the new campus. The overall cost of the 20-year financing was 3.32 percent, according to a release from the district. “Interest rates on these types of bonds are near historic lows,” Ridgefield School District Superintendent Nathan McCann said in a release. “This is a good time to borrow at low rates to complete these important projects for the community.”The district saved roughly $180,000 in total debt service when compared with initial interest rates, thanks to a stable bond market, according to the release.last_img read more